The volume editors frame and contextualize Smithsonian Folklife Festival history with attention to the role of curatorial practice in mediating and negotiating the concerns and interests of the event’s varied publics and stakeholders. The editors address how the articles create a step towards systematically examining institutional Festival principles and the particular curatorial process of the Festival, unpacking the challenges, responsibilities, and forms of conversation that cultural representation entails; the ideals upon which the Festival is based; and places of friction and contestation that arise among the many parties involved in producing it.
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